Just two days after my trusty travel companion Harry and I walked across the border into Nepal, the earthquake hit. An hour later a strange turn of events – primarily involving a chemist and a Scotsman called Bunny – led us straight to Secret Garden, where you’ll still find us now. If I were to describe my work, I’d say I’m acting as a Creative Director for sanitation and nutrition educational projects we have going on here at Secret Garden.
Driving through the mountains to Sindupalchowk, our absolute beast of a truck stopped and perched itself at the top of a considerable drop down into a basin of vast peaks and valleys. There, back through layer upon layer of mountain ridges, I caught my first glimpse of the Himalayan Mountains. Just milky snowcapped peaks peering through the horizon, but for anyone who has beheld this sight, I don’t have to describe that feeling of awe to you. Even out of sight, the presence of the Himalayas is felt throughout every inch of Nepal. Climate patterns, rock formations, rivers, all lead you back to this absurd mountain chain. Their very existence forged by the same crushing pressure that caused the untold destruction of April 25th. Not only must Nepal bare the brunt of two incomprehensibly huge tectonic plates, monsoon is about to unleash itself. And when it falls, the rain is relentless.
Two years ago, in the monsoon of 2013, extreme downpour drowned the Mahakali basin; hundreds of lives were swept away in the most severe flooding Nepal and India had seen for fifty years. Now with many families forced to rebuild their lives beneath crumbling cliff faces, makeshift communities edging into flood plains, none can afford to face further landslides and flooding. Even just contemplating the state of the roads in the mountains, monsoon will without doubt bring a frightening new wave to this already dire crisis.
Our focus now shifts from immediate aid relief to these long term fears. We now must coordinate our actions with other small groups committed to seeing earthquake survivors through the inevitable trials monsoon will bring in mid-June. Sanitation is a crucial concern for us, with the increased risk of contaminated water sources, disease will spread and more lives will be lost. Water treatment solutions and sanitation education must be made available to those at risk. Trauma is paralyzing, but shelter needs must be met, we must act now as a mechanism of support to allow Nepal to rebuild itself efficiently and effectively.
This is how your donations shape the future of Nepal. You are fundamental to our efforts here, so for everything we’ve achieved together so far, thank you! And for everything we will achieve now with your support, thank you!